Friday, October 2, 2009

Necessity Opportunity Profit
True ecological sustainability is a source of profit and competitive advantage, according to Gunnar Andréen, former executive vice president and COO of Sophus Berendsen AS, a leading European supplier of textile, hygiene and safety solutions for industry, public institutions, hotels and restaurants, and health care facilities. Under Andréen’s leadership, Berendsen reduced its consumption of water, energy, and chemicals by almost 50 percent, making the company a pioneer in protecting the environment. In his presentation, Necessity, Opportunity, Profit: A Winning Combination for Environmental Sustainability in Business, Andréen will discuss how companies like Scandic Hotels, a Swedish hotel chain that began using green business principles in 1994, view sustainability as both good for society and business. He will introduce us to The Natural Step, and discuss how companies use this framework to integrate ecological sustainability into their business strategies and operations. Finally, Andréen will talk in-depth about his experience at Berendsen, explaining how he got inspired by The Natural Step principles to gain consensus among his employees, benchmark energy consumption and increase energy efficiency while reducing the company’s CO2 emissions.

Gunnar Andréen is president and owner of G. Andréen AB, a consulting firm located in Sweden. Andréen’s clients include Huebsch Services, an Eau Claire-based family business that provides uniform, matting and restroom supply services to organizations in west central Wisconsin and the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area.Prior to starting his business in 2004, Andréen was executive vice president and COO of Sophus Berendsen AS (1994-2004), and president of Tvattman AB (1984-1994), a textile rental subsidiary of Electrolux, one of Europe’s largest conglomerates. Andreen worked for Tvattman for 25 years—first as a marketing director in Sweden, then president of a subsidiary located in Houston, Texas, and eventually as corporate president.Andréen holds a Master of Business Administration from the Lund University School of Economics and Management in Lund, Sweden. An entrepreneur and innovator, Andreen has also received several U.S. patents for equipment he developed for the textile rental industry.

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